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Young Bisexual People’s Experiences of Sexual Violence: A Mixed-Methods Study

20 July 2020

Publication date
20 July 2020

Original abstract

Bisexual people are at an increased vulnerability for sexual victimization in comparison to heterosexual people, as well as gay and lesbian people. As the majority of first sexual violence experiences happen prior to age 25 for bisexual women, young bisexual people are particularly vulnerable. Despite consistent evidence of this health disparity, little is known about what factors might increase young bisexual people’s risk for sexual victimization, or how they access support post-victimization. The current study addresses this gap through a mixed-method investigation of young bisexual people’s experiences of sexual violence with a sample of 245 bisexual people age 18–25. Quantitative results indicate that bisexual stigma significantly predicts a greater likelihood of reporting an experience of sexual violence. Qualitative findings support that while not all participants felt bisexual stigma related to their experience of sexual violence, some felt negative bisexual stereotypes were substantial factors. Interview participants found connecting with other survivors, particularly LGBTQ + and bisexual survivors, to be beneficial. Some participants encountered barriers to accessing support, such as discrimination in schools. Sexual violence researchers should consider bisexual stigma as an important factor, and support services the potential positive impact of bisexual-specific survivor support.


Flanders, C.E., Anderson, R. E. & Tarasoff, L. A. (2020). Young Bisexual People’s Experiences of Sexual Violence: A Mixed-Methods Study. Journal of Bisexuality. DOI: 10.1080/15299716.2020.1791300

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bisexuality, sexual violence, bisexual stigma, mixed-methods


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